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LituanicaSAT-2

In 2017 NanoAvionics together with Vilnius University collaborated on launching LituanicaSAT-2 satellite. LituanicaSAT-2 was a 3U CubeSat intended for the scientific mission of the “QB50” – a constellation of 50 CubeSats. The “QB50” project was led by the Von Karman Institute (VKI) for fluid dynamics (Belgium), under the European Commission’s research and innovation program FP7 (2007-2013). The project involved 50 institutions all over the world each building their CubeSats that were launched into space during the “QB50” mission.

The scientific aim of “QB50” was to carry out atmospheric research within the lower thermosphere (altitude between 200 and 500 km), which is the least explored layer of the atmosphere.

Despite direct “QB50” aim, the LituanicaSAT-2 mission was particularly important for NanoAvionics, because the innovative propulsion system prototype for small satellites developed by NanoAvionics was successfully tested during this mission.

This mission was designed to provide long-term multipoint, in-situ measurements. The scientific contribution of the LituanicaSAT-2 was to accomplish the molecular Oxygen measurements Flux-Φ-Probe Experiment (FIPEX).

Following a rigorous testing programme, the LituanicaSAT-2 with satellite number LT01 was launched by the PSLV launch vehicle on 23rd of June, 2017. The satellite was deployed in the sun-synchronous orbit, at an altitude of 507 km.

 

LituanicaSAT-2 prototype presentation

Project details
Definition of the satellite mission objectives December
2011 – May 2012
Project acceptance
18 July 2012 (Letter of Acceptance)
Critical Design Review
04 May 2014
Cooperation agreement between Vilnius University and NanoAvionics
28 October 2014
Satellite engineering module subsystem-level testing
June-September 2015
Satellite engineering model assembly (Without Propulsion System)
August 2015
Satellite engineering model functional test campaign
November 2015 – February 2016
Propulsion system functional test campaign
December 2015 – April 2016
Satellite flight model environmental and functional test campaign
March 2016 – December 2016
Flight Readiness Review
March 2017
Satellite delivery to project organizers
April 2017
Launch of the PSLV C-38 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, with LituanicaSAT-2 onboard
23 June 2017
The first LituanicaSAT-2 signal was received from WA (US)
23 June 2017
The chemical propulsion system was successfully tested in-orbit
5 July 2017